We had camped at Murphy’s Point Provincial Park, starting on Friday to help fellow Kingston Centre member Frank Hitchens set up for observing at night.
We hung out at the camp site on Saturday afternoon, trying to de-stress from a brutal week at work, but we were also fighting rain since Friday night. There was a massive thunderstorm that went through on Saturday before during and after sunrise. We chased the sun through the trees to do some solar observing, but we have it from other members from Kingston and Belleville that solar scopes were setup on the beach. Except for one 15 minute downpour between 1-4 pm, all went well.

Starting around 5:00 pm, the skies opened up again, and as we sat under the tarp and firepit, we were really worried that the night time events would not take place. The clouds parted, and the talk proceeded with Frank talking about Galileo and the first moon landing, of which is the 40th anniversary on July 20. Excellent images, and wonderful audio clips of the Saturn 5 lift off, lunar landing and clips from the Voyager’s spacecraft gold record recordings. This showed everyone that we are still pilgrams on the cosmic voyage in the universe, and wondering are we alone?

Once the talk was over, the sky cleared, and we had around 25 people show up to look through telescopes and binoculars. There was Fred Barrett, Leo Enright, Larry Hum, Dave Pianosi, Kevin and myself. Frank came down after packing up the electronics.

We had a wonderful view of Sagitarrius, Scorpious, lots of
satellites, and the estimated -6 ISS long duration flare, (though
down as mag -2.6 from heavens-above.com). It was brighter than Venus in the morning which is at -4.05. The space shuttle was also attached. It was the brightest ISS pass we have ever seen to date. Around the same time was some good lightning way down on the horizon near Brockville? just below Scorpius. That light up our sky a little as well.

The clouds started to move in from the west again, and around 11:30 we all dispersed. Some stayed. Jupiter was still behind the trees. It was a fantastic night despite the clouds and rain earlier in the day.

Norm Welbanks went up to Bon Echo Provincial Park to help Terence Dickinson who was giving a talk at their pavillion. There was around 300 for the talk, and around 75 to observe. Way to go Norm.

Frank will be giving another astronomy talk on August 27th at
Murphy’s Point , and would appreciate anyone who would like to take up their scope and set up by the beach. We both back the use of the beach, it has a wonderful view of the southern exposure, and it is a treat to get out under the skies. If you are interested, contact Frank at

Kim & Kevin